A news reporter and cameraman were shot dead by a former aggravated co-worker during a live broadcast in Virginia on Wednesday. Reporter Alison Parker and Cameraman Adam Ward were unfortunately victims of animosity, unable to react to the startling shots of former colleague Vester Lee Flanagan II, according to the Guardian.
Journalists killed in live interview
The two TV local journalists from Virginia, working at the WDJB7 news station, reportedly gave a routine live interview with an official from the local chamber of commerce when sudden sounds of gunshots and screams were heard on live television. The camera then dropped to the floor and the producers from WDJB7 news station immediately stopped the broadcast and returned to the shocked look of the anchors in the studio, shared by the Guardian.
Reports later indicated that Alison Parker and Adam Ward died at the scene. The executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake regional chamber of commerce Vicki Gardner, the official they interviewed, was also shot at the scene, but survived and is now in stable condition, according to the Guardian.
Suspect video-records his own killing
A more frightening scene was occurring when the suspect, Vester Lee Flanagan II, apparently recorded the whole incident of his own assault, allegedly with a Go-Pro style camera, and allegedly posted it on the internet moments after the shooting. The video showed the attacker approaching Parker, Ward, and the interviewee slowly, stood behind them and whispered ?bitch? and pointed his gun at the reporter. The suspect, also known as Bryce Williams under an on-air name, then fled to the scene and died in the hospital, after a brief pursuit, two hours later after shooting himself, posted by the Guardian.
Franklin County sheriff Bill Overton, during a press conference on Wednesday, said it was too early to conclude any specific motives behind the killings. ?It is obvious that this gentleman was disturbed in some way, the way things had transpired at some point in his life,? Overton said. ?It would appear that things were spiraling out of control,? he added in the press conference, according to the Guardian.
Former employee was unstable
WDJB7 Station Manager Jeff Marks then told viewers a few hours later on air their history with Flanagan. ?Vester was an unhappy man,? he said. ?We employed him as a reporter, and he had some talent in that respect and some experience, although he?d been out of the business for a while,? Marks added, posted by the Guardian.
?He quickly gathered a reputation as someone who was difficult to work with,? Marks added. ?Eventually after many incidents of his coming to the fore, we dismissed him. And he did not take that well, we had to call the police to escort him from the building.?
?This is the worst day of my career ? worst day of all our career,? Marks said in an interview with the Guardian outside the TV station. ?We?ve lost beloved colleagues.?
According to the Guardian, ?Shocked and distraught and barely able to compute what had happened, WDJB7?s news team continued to broadcast through the day, telling viewers they had news of a story ?that has affected our WDJB7 family very deeply.??